How to translate this part of Te lucis?

Latin Language Asked by arisc12 on October 17, 2020

I am trying to translate part of the Te lucis ante terminum (Revised Latin text) I have trouble translating this:

Præsta, Pater piíssime,

Patríque compar Unice,

cum Spíritu Paráclito

regnans per omne sǽculum.


Can somebody explain how to translate this? Thanks.

My attempt.

  1. Præsta; present singular imperative active of praesto: supply!
  2. Pater; Nomnitive singular of pater: The Father
  3. piíssime; Vocative singular of piissimus: O the very pious one
  4. Patríque; Dative singular of pater: and to/for Father
  5. compar; ?
  6. Unice; Vocative singular of unicus: O The only One

The rest is: With the Holy Spirit the comforter, who reigns through all ages. Amen.

One Answer

It sounds like you're asking about these two lines in particular?

Præsta, Pater piíssime,
Patríque compar Unice,

The words here are in a somewhat unusual order, to fit the meter and the rhyme. A more usual ordering would be something like:

Pater piisime, Unice-que compar Patri, præsta…

I would translate this as "o most pious Father, and o One like unto the Father, vouch for…"

Grammatically, note that pater and compar are both also vocative—for most words, the nominative and the vocative look identical. So Pater piisime is a single vocative phrase ("o most blessed Father"), and Unice compar is also a single vocative phrase ("o One, like unto"). Compar acts like par "equal", and usually goes with a noun in the dative (the thing being compared to): in this case, the Father.

Correct answer by Draconis on October 17, 2020

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